Friday, August 10, 2012

Are you a Planner or a Pantser?

Do you have stacks of plot cards neatly printed and piled according to color-code on your desk? Or do you sit down on the couch, grab your computer, and think, "What am I going to write today?" Find out whether you are a planner, a planner-who-pants, a pantser-who-plans, or a pantser in today's quiz.

1. What time of day do you like to write?
a) before breakfast
b) after breakfast/after lunch
c) before dinner
d) the late hours of the night

2. You're stuck. You...
a) go back to your plot outline to figure out what went wrong
b) brainstorm a list of ideas and pick your favorite
c) call a writer friend and chat about your story
d) keep writing but add a dragon to make the story more interesting

3. What do you write with/on?
a) computer
b) ipad (for all you hipsters out there)
c) spiral notebook
d) looseleaf paper

4. You have a brilliant new story idea about a girl who travels in time and meets Galileo. (Your current story is a fantasy.) What do you do?
a) leave it - you've got your hands full already
b) write it down in your ideas notebook, but save it for after you've finished writing your current story
c) come up with a plot outline, then promise yourself you won't touch it until you're finished
d) sit down and start writing it now

5. Your main character is stuck in a dungeon without food or water. How do you get him/her out?
a) escape by means of the main character's lock-picking skills (as introduced in chapter 3)
b) research "ways to escape a dungeon" on Google, and pick the one you like best
c) add a dragon to the mix and see how your main character reacts
d) let your characters solve their own problems. They have to grow up someday, right?

Mostly As: A Planner
You're a confirmed and stereotypical planner. Embrace your organized, think-things-through-in-advance self! It can be quite an asset to your writing when you know what happens in advance; plus, it frees you up to churn out large chunks of draft at once. However, remember not to be afraid to think outside the box.

Mostly Bs: A Planner-Who-Pants
Your basic underlying philosophy is planning. You want to work things out in advance. You want a roadmap for your story. However, there are plenty of times when you forget the plan or else you forget to plan, at which point you may pant along cheerfully for a while. This particular writing style has a nice balance of structure and spontaneity, but it can sometimes lead to an imbalanced story where some parts seem tightly connected while others appear random and unrelated.

Mostly Cs: A Pantser-Who-Plans
While similar to the planner-who-pants, in this particular writing style your underlying structure is that of pantsing. You start without a plan. When you sit down to write, you don't usually have anything but rough ideas in your head. However, you will occasionally write your ideas down before you begin writing the story or while you're writing or even after you've finished writing. Mostly spontaneous yet partly planned, this style of writing, too, has a nice flexibility to it plus a free flow of ideas, some fabulous and some...less so. As with the planner-who-pants, your story may appear unconnected in places, and you may have too many ideas all at once (that's where planning comes in handy).

Mostly Ds: A Pantser
You probably know this already, but you're a pantser. Your notes may be scribbled on the back of receipts (or else in your head). Your story may have morphed about five times already. Your main character has probably changed genders twice now. This gives a lot of freedom to your story, but be warned: it's easy to lose the essence of your plot and characters in the whirlwind of ideas.

1 comment:

  1. This is extremely useful info. I've shared it with some friends who have no idea if they're pantsers or not. Thanks.


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